How do you wash clothes without water?

The other day I wrote an article on washing clothes, but what happens when you don’t have enough water to wash with.  Do you and the clothes just get dirty and stink.  Now I am talking about real dirty not just a little sweat and a few dead skin cells like most clothes in the city get. How do you wash clothes without water?

Clothes as they get dirty lose some of their insulating qualities.  This occurs as the fibers become clogged with dirt and the dead air spaces are filled in.  So the first thing to do is to shake the clothes to remove as much dirt and dust as possible.

wash clothes without water.

Sun washing clothes in camp

The next thing is to sun wash the clothes.  To do this lay them out in the sun and let the ultraviolet radiation from the sun kill the bacteria.  If possible keep your clothes off the ground, spread them over a bush or fence or something similar. You can also hang them over a clothes line.  If you have time let them lay in the sun all day, turning them over periodically.  This also works with sleeping bags and blankets.  Sleeping bags should be turned inside out.  A good bright sun will make a big difference in your clothes.  They will feel and smell better.  This is how you wash clothes without water.

You still have your body to worry about, if you have no water this method will work, if you have the right products.  Take alcohol based products or hand disinfectant and a rag, you can use these to wipe under the armpits and groin to kill the odor.  They don’t get you clean, but they kill the bacteria that cause many skin problems.  If you are using rubbing alcohol, use it sparingly, because it is very drying to the skin.  If problems develop, stop using it.  Baby towelettes work well if you have them.

In a future post, I will cover ways of washing with minimum amounts of water and other techniques for instance the Romans used a mixture of vinegar and water.

Hope this helps you.

Howard

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One Response to How do you wash clothes without water?

  1. After a tornado that left us with no electricity for five days, I washed pants to remove crotch odor. I took a cooking pot and put it on a table outdoors. I added a gallon of water and a cup of vinegar. I put two pair of pants at a time in the pot, squished them up and down for about 30 seconds, let them sit about five minutes, squished them for less time but squeezed a bit, let them sit for about five minutes. Then, I just squeezed a little bit. I couldn’t wring the pants because of injured hands. The pants were just flung over the line and pinned on. They dried eventually.

    Because my pot was not large, I washed two pair of pants at a time in the one pot.

    Even in my washing machine, I put a cup of vinegar in the water, nothing else. So, pants only get a vinegar rinse. That is a rinse cycle with no wash cycle.Of course, the washer spins out the water and vinegar. When the pants dry, there is no vinegar odor at all.

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